322

Respond politely by asking them what they need from you. Your co-worker likes to begin conversations with small talk, which is a style of communication that some people prefer. They find it necessary or comfortable to engage in warmup dialogue before stating their intent. These preferences are developed over time and are hard to unlearn. So let's assume ...


318

What's a work-appropriate way to say "Please stop talking and let me work"? Once they state the request, repeat it back to them and then say: Do I understand the requirement/change correctly? If they say yes: You say “Great, now let me get this done for you”, then turn from them and start working. If not continue the dialog with the person making ...


274

I know how you feel; I came from a rural and traditional background as well and went through this several years ago. Here are a few things I wish someone had told me: These women are not dressing this way to distract you on purpose. Women dress the way they do for a variety of reasons, none of which have anything to do with you. You will become ...


136

It's important to remember that other people can't read your mind. It's perfectly fine to have ways you prefer to do things, but you need to let people know what your preferences are before you expect them to respect your preferences. Along these lines, ignoring your coworker's pleasantries in the hope that she'll jump into her question for you isn't going ...


135

Personally, I'd have security escort you right out of the building, and ship your personal items to you, and flag your file with "Do not rehire". You clearly violated policy by attempting to circumvent security. If you cannot come up with some solid and amazingly urgent business reason to circumvent security, violate protocols, and put your company at risk ...


127

I've not experienced a problem like this myself, but the fact the asker is trying to stop and finding it difficult does remind me of a surprising but well-established finding in psychology that the harder you try consciously to not to think about something, the more you end up thinking about it and the bigger a deal it becomes. I think this is part of the ...


99

As always, focus first on the work. Is it getting done? On-Time? Quality OK? Same as others? Remember that everyone takes breaks. For some it's a smoke, for others a trip to get coffee, for others a few minutes on Facebook. Be very careful about affecting morale in this area. It's incredibly hard not to manage this (or "micro-manage"), but looking at the ...


96

This employee is being disruptive to your business and something more formal than a verbal warning is required. He's not only bothering you and other employees during the course of normal business, reducing productivity and effectiveness, but he's disruptive to customer meetings and is straining relationships. The next steps depend on your policy, but his ...


94

Is there a way I can get they to change the ringtone, without escalating too much? You have talked to your coworker and he is disagreeing. You have also established that your other coworkers don't want to get involved. Your next step would be the guys manager. Only you can know if you consider that "escalating too much".


81

Nowhere in my contract OR in the IT and Internet usage policies does it explicitly state not to use proxies or attempt to bypass the restrictions (which is the wording I was used to seeing at college), however it does say that the internet should only be used for business purposes. You're kind of expected to have a certain amount of responsibility in the ...


73

If someone simply saying “Hello!” or “Good morning!” to you in chat is so upsetting, that is a symptom of another problem and it’s not your need to “train” someone to never say “Hello!” or some similar pleasantry. Lots of other answers here, but let me focus on this one thing and expand on an earlier comment I made: “How can I politely inform her that I ...


63

What's a work-appropriate way to say "Please stop talking and let me work"? I'd suggest, don't say that verbally; let your actions speak for you. Question: Do you know why they are being repetitive? Do they feel you did not understand enough? Do they feel you're not paying enough attention? The thing is, you need to make it clear to them that you ...


54

I'm afraid the options are limited and the limitations depends on your physical work environment and what the company you work for are willing to do. I'd say the solutions I've seen are a combination of these: Create a "Do not disturb" time. The idea is to set aside a certain time, like 14:00 - 17:00, where no interruptions are allowed. Phones are turned ...


50

At my place, in the UK, you would be gone. As a senior developer, I would be gone. You could have asked if you can use your own private phone with 3G connection, or whether you can bring your private iPad in, with its own 3G connection, but absolutely no playing around with your company's network. You could have asked IT if they can make it possible to ...


50

In the companies I work or worked in, the initial "hello" was less of a chit-chat and more of a way to poke someone and check whether they can freely read the IM. The idea being that if someone does not respond to the initial "hello", it means that it may not be the best moment to send them something which they may not want to see displayed (presenting, ...


41

That's one typical problem with open office culture. Someone's communication is someone else's distraction. So, let's analyze the situation: Someone requested you to change the level of your voice, and you were actually able to do that. That indicates, you could have started and continued in that tone itself which would not have caused any problems. In ...


41

my now-boss walked me through a completely different part of the office...His primary solution is to assign everyone less work to account for the "distractions". Your boss is a deceitful moron and deserves none of the respect and restraint you have so far shown. I would normally advocate communication and everything suggested by Sourav Ghosh, but in ...


40

Is there any way I can control his behavior or should I resort to official written warning? An official, written warning may be your best bet for controlling his behavior (assuming that aside from this issue he is a good employee worth keeping around). You have already talked with him several times, and each time his control lasted only temporarily. So ...


37

You say that asking him to stop talking to himself worked, even if you had to ask multiple times, why not just do that again? Politely explain that his behaviour is distracting you and try to find a solution to the problem with him. You mention that moving to a different office / space is not an option for you, but perhaps it's an option for him? If ...


35

IMO, banning these sites will not help, because it works on the symptoms, not on the cause. In my experience, people will go surfing the Internet if they are bored by their work or if they need a little break from their work. If it is the second reason, I would not make an issue of it. If it is the first case, you might have deeper issues, which will have ...


35

You are getting seriously beat up on this. Yes you intentionally bypassed security but sounds like you just did it to access content that would have been otherwise available to you. It is not a akin to a felony. Apologize, tell them you know it is wrong, and will not do it again. You will get disciplined but may not get fired.


32

I realized that I might be one of those coworkers who is a little loud. When I'm working on a tough programming problem, I really get into it to the point where I sometimes find myself growling at my computer screen or talking to myself as I'm working. Ironically, after reading this post, I've tried to cool it a bit. :) Being on the other side of this ...


31

Back in the day, I worked in an environment where I managed a lot of people remotely, and had to deal with many of their issues as soon as possible, so couldn't just check messages periodically: they needed to be able to interrupt me. At the same time, I had to program and debug, holding large and complex data structures in my head, only to have them ...


29

Making his phone ring while the boss is nearby is a cute idea, although it may not garner the desired response (ie: changing his ringtone.) His boss may not care enough to say anything, or he might just apologize quietly and not do anything else. It could also backfire on you if your coworker can trace the incoming call back to you, so tread carefully. ...


29

Find a reason to use IM (not related to the volume) to ping each of your colleagues in turn. When you hear the bing, you have your culprit...


27

We have mostly open seating too. I share your pain. You didn't mention visual distraction, but that can be a big contributor too. If you have any leeway at all over this, getting any sort of visual barrier can help immensely. You might not realize how much people walking by in your peripheral vision can distract you until you cut it off. The biggest ...


27

There is absolutely noting wrong with saying: I have several friends that suffered and/or died from that and I find it difficult to see the humor in your joke. Could you not make jokes about it around me? The first and often overlooked step in dealing with any inappropriate behavior or comments in the workplace is letting the person know that you are ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible